15 Fine Art References In Hip-Hop Music

15 Fine Art References In Hip-Hop Music

HNHH lists 15 of the best fine art references in hip-hop - not the "Top 15", simply 15 of the best.

Many emcees (especially those in the limelight) display an appreciation for the finer things in life, and art is no exception. Although a less common source of inspiration, you will catch the occasional fine art reference in rap music, Jay Z's "Picasso Baby" being only the most recent example.

The New Oxford American Dictionary denies fine art as "creative art, especially visual art, whose products are to be appreciated primarily or solely for their imaginative, aesthetic, or intellectual content". It's a broad term that encompasses everything from photography and sculpture to calligraphy and theatre, but we've mainly focussed on painters here.  

From pioneers such as Slick Rick, Jay Z and The Beastie Boys to more contemporary acts such as Big K.R.I.T., Action Bronson and Nacho Picasso, emcees have been referring to fine art since day one. 

Read on for a list of some of hip-hop's best references to fine art, artists and events over the past three decades, both lyrical and visual. Don't expect in-depth analyses here, though - think of this as a playlist, if anything (most of the examples are self-explanatory anyway). Also, keep in mind the they appear in no particular order, and forgive us for the thousands of notable artists and works we've omitted. 

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